As things stand, the Boston Celtics are the best team in the NBA and should be eyeing a championship by the end of the season. They currently hold the best record in the NBA at 33-12. However, just because they’re great doesn’t mean they can’t be better.
With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Celtics should be exploring any and all options that could help them improve their title chances. According to NBA cap expert Keith Smith on Heavy Sports’ Postin’ Up podcast, a player they could potentially look to target is Indiana Pacers wing Chris Duarte.
“Chris Duarte, like, I think, is a guy who could make some sense,” Smith said. “Indiana seems willing to move on him. If you could get him at a reasonable cost, go get a guy like that. A guy who can play, you know, 15-20 minutes a night in the regular season. You can move on because, just, Sam Hauser is starting not to cut it right now. So I think you just gotta go there. But that’s it. You don’t need much. I mean, such is life at the top of the league.”
As noted by Smith, Hauser has struggled a bit in recent weeks. After a hot start to the season, he hasn’t been knocking down shots at the same rate that he once was. Over the course of Hauser’s last 10 games, he’s been averaging 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game on 36.4% shooting from the field and 29.2% shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Meanwhile, Duarte has also been struggling this season, but he’d be another body for the Celtics to throw out there at the wing position. He’s appeared in 23 of the team’s 45 games this year and is playing 17.3 minutes per contest. Duarte is averaging 7.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game on 32.9% shooting from the floor and 27.9% shooting from distance.
Celtics Linked to Saddiq Bey as Potential Trade Target
However, Duarte isn’t the only recent first-round pick that has been floated as a potential Celtics trade target. There are some other wings around the league that could provide Boston with similar depth. According to Brian Robb of MassLive, Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey could be someone worth looking at.
“The price tag will be high for the Pistons, given that Bey is 23 and on a team-friendly deal through next season,” Robb wrote. “Bey’s numbers have been on the decline recently as well, and he’s popped up in enough trade rumors that it’s fair to assume the Pistons will be listening to the offers.”
Torrey Craig Floated as Potential Celtics Target
In addition, Robb also mentioned another potential wing target the Celtics could look at. He suggested Torrey Craig of the Phoenix Suns as a potential trade-deadline addition.
“Craig is having a career year amid the team’s injuries, so it’s unlikely they are looking to give him away,” Robb said. “But he would be a nice regular-season option to reduce Tatum and Brown’s minutes without giving up too much on the court. The Celtics won’t be looking to give up much for a 32-year-old on an expiring but could be a realistic option to strengthen the team’s wing depth.”